NIGERIA has declared July 25 as national diaspora day as part of a programme of recognising the contributions of diasporans to national development and tapping into their expertise as the government seeks to diversify the economy.
Annually, the Nigerian diaspora remits about $35bn back home annually, which is a higher figure than the national budget and more than the gross domestic products of most states. In addition, diasporans are highly skilled, bringing an array of talents in numerous disciplines, which can help grow the economy and end the dependence on crude oil.
Earlier this year, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa was named as the chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (Nidcom) and pledged that her main task would be to tap into the resource base diasporans provide. earlier this month, she told a gathering of Nigerians in the UK that she plans to hold quarterly meetings with the diaspora to chart the way forward.
Yesterday, Abdulrahman Balogun, Nidcom’s media coordinator, added that the commission planned to host the 2019 National Diaspora Day celebrations in collaboration with the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and the Nigerians in Diaspora Alumni Network. He added that the theme of the event is The Power of the Nigerian Diaspora for National Development.
Dr Sule Bassi, the co-chairman of the Local Organising Committee, said that the event would be graced by the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi and the permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman. Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, is expected to declare the conference open.